Summary: Dell's entry into the Netbook market means it's time to take these low-cost, low-power PCs seriously. The Inspiron Mini 9 is an excellent example of the form, if not radically different from the competition.
Pros: More configurable than other Netbooks; good battery life; XP and Linux OS options.
Cons: Some awkward keyboard compromises; no SSD options larger than 16GB.
Conclusion: If you can adapt to the compact nature (and layout) of the keyboard and full-screen your favourite web browser, then the Mini 9 is a solidly built device that I can see lots of people carrying around in the future.
Conclusion: I enjoyed my time with the Dell Mini 9, but in the end this is not a machine for me. The main factor in me not liking it is how small it is. For a device this small the manufacturer should ditch the keyboard and make it into a tablet. A tablet this size can have an onscreen keyboard that you can use with your thumbs, like the iPhone. Using this keyboard long term will probably result in some major hand cramping.
Conclusion: The Dell Mini 9 is fun, but suffers from a few flaws that keep it firmly in an earlier generation of netbooks. It seeks a balance between the bare-bones style of the earliest netbooks and feature-packed modern netbooks like the Eee PC 1000HE . Unfortunately, this may just mean it’s too expensive for the true budget buyers and too weak for people who want a more luxurious PC companion. However, it will appeal to those of us with a taste for the in-between.
Pros: Small and portable, Firmly designed, Synaptics touchpad is responsive, Easily upgradeable, Nearly silent, Under $400 on Amazon, Runs for almost 4 hrs
Cons: Gets very hot, Only 8-16 GB of storage space, Glossy screen causes glare and attracts fingerprints, Strangely placed Function keys, Lack of F11 or F1, No 6-cell battery
Summary: As the netbook market continues to grow and become more competitive, major computer manufacturers are putting more energy and power behind their entries into this increasingly popular field. In order to answer the fast-selling Asus and MSI lines, Dell has entered into the fray with its low-power and inexpensive netbook , the Inspiron Mini 9.
Conclusion: All in all, I would say that this netbook is fair game in the race between all the other 8.9" netbooks currently out there. I would say they keyboard layout is it’s largest drawback, and it’s a pretty large one at that. Like the CTL key on some IBM laptops, and other brands/models I’m sure, changing the keyboard (at least in my opinion) is something that should never be done.
Pros: Battery life (little more than 3 hours on standard 4-cell), Silent (most times), Good low-light performing webcam (stays dark, but doesn’t get choppy/low fps), Nice keys (but the keyboard layout…..read below), SSD has same disk performance as a 5400rpm sata, Easy access to upgrade memory/wireless card/etc, Very light (2.5lbs)
Cons: Keyboard does not have a standard layout (qwertyuiop is shifted right, apostrophe/double quote is on bottom row), Running on 512mb keeps getting Low Virtual Memory errors (bumped to 1gb seems to make issue go away), 16gb largest drive (SSD) currently available, Ships with drive compression turned on (hurts performance, but easily undone), Kind of cheesy touch pad buttons (but quiet)
Summary: Dell wants you to believe the Inspiron Mini 9 is "your new best friend." Well, kiddies, the Mini 9 is a fantastic mobile companion that helps you stay connected and makes your life easier without breaking the bank. However, I can’t shake the feeling that the Mini 9 is more like "the kid you’re friendly with at the lunch table, but isn’t your BFF." Yes, the Mini 9 is a great netbook. Yes, it has a great price. Yes, it will probably sell very, very well for Dell.
Summary: At first glance, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Dell's entry into the mini-notebook category, looks like what you might get if you left a notebook from Dell's full-size Studio line of laptops in the dryer too long.
Conclusion: Dell had a hard time keeping the lid on the Inspiron Mini 9 that it introduced today, with virtually all details of the system being leaked before its introduction. The little Mini 9 is Dell's first entry into the netbook realm and from appearances, it should be a good one. The Mini 9 will be offered in two XP Home versions and one version running Ubuntu Linux. The Linux machine can be pre-ordered right now for $349.